Birmingham based Green Berets get new commander


Related Media

Maj. Gen. Perry G. Smith, Alabama’s Adjutant General, hands the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) colors to Col. James D. Craig, the new 20th SFG(A) Commander, during a change of command ceremony.

MONTGOMERY, AL (06/04/2012)(readMedia)-- The Alabama National Guard's 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) welcomed Col. James D. Craig as the new brigade commander in a ceremony Saturday, June 2, at the group's headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. Craig took over command from Col. Randall M. Zeegers who had commanded the 20th SFG(A) since June 2009.

Zeegers has been named the Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Special Forces. "A commander can only be as successful as those who carry out his vision," said Zeegers to the soldiers of the 20th SFG(A). "You have my greatest respect and lifelong devotion."

Wearing the Special Forces' signature green beret, Craig addressed the assembled Soldiers of the 20th. "I look forward to serving with you all," he said. "We will continue to build on the efforts and the service of those who served before us."

The 20th SFG(A) is one of only two Special Forces Groups in the National Guard. The 20th SFG(A) has one battalion stationed in Alabama, and has command and control over two additional battalions, one in Mississippi and the other in Florida. In total 20th SFG(A) commands and controls Special Forces units in eight separate states.

"We don't select just anybody to command at the brigade level," said Maj. Gen. Perry G. Smith, Alabama's Adjutant General. "You must prove that you have the potential to serve at this level by performing well and leading professionally."